The highly anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook is set to launch in the next few months. I have waited to post anything on the PlayBook for as long as possible to get a real idea of what its all about and the details. As I have researched and compared, I have been hard pressed to find anything that the iPad does that the PlayBook can't do better. Of course Apple is working feverishly to fix all of their mistakes and release the iPad 2, but that is not surprising.
As shown above, the iPad lacks flash. Flash seems to me like it is a basic feature of any browser. According to Steve Jobs, Flash is a relic. “Flash was created during the PC era –- for PCs and mice,” he says, “but the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards –- all areas where Flash falls short.” Some of his arguments are actually logical and make sense, but it seems like the iPad is trying to be something its not; a highly advanced, futuristic device. Flash may be a "third party layer of software" between developers and potential amazing apps, but Flash is also the source of over 50,000 games and 75% of all video on the web. If nothing else, the lack of Flash is an annoyance that necessitates workarounds. This flies in the face of Apple's intuitive, easy to use reputation.
A screen comparison shows that the iPad's is obviously larger (9.7" compared to 7"), but the resolution is very close to the same (1024 x 768 on the iPad, and 1024 x 600 on the PlayBook), meaning higher pixel density on the PlayBook. This also means that the PlayBook is much more portable.
What about the camera? Well RIM could have tossed a low-res vga camera into the PlayBook and would have beaten iPad hands down since iPads DO NOT HAVE a camera. Perhaps cameras are considered third party hardware that would just get in the way of the brilliance of the sleek, aura that Apple fanboys everywhere adore. Either that, or Apple forgot. I'm pretty sure the iPad 2 will have a camera. The PlayBook boasts not only a front facing 3MP camera for videoconferencing, but there is also a rear facing 5MP camera that shoots true 1080p video - a first for any tablet or smartphone.
Although processor comparisons are subjective due to different operating systems and hardware, it comes down to this: the iPad has one core running at 1GHz, the PlayBook has 2.
Recently there have been questions regarding the battery life of the PlayBook and whether it can compete with the iPad. RIM’s Jeff McDowell, senior vice-president for business and platform marketing, rebuffs analysts battery life concerns. According to McDowell "It’s going to be equal or greater than the iPad with smaller battery size."
The one thing that Apple has the upper hand in is apps. Obviously Apple's App Store is second to none with over 250,000 (all very useful) apps to choose from. About 25,000 of these are optimized for the iPad. However; along with the announcement regarding battery life of the PlayBook, McDowell also let out that RIM plans on having about 4,000 third party PlayBook apps available at launch which is impressive. It took RIM months to get that many in App World.
The PlayBook has managed to outspec the iPad in many key categories (a rare feat for any RIM device) and will provide real competition for a good share of the growing tablet market. What do you think?